Dave Clement | Big Lake Cinematic
I have the wonderful opportunity to meet and photograph all kinds of amazing human beings.
While they are in studio, it is a privilege to learn about their businesses, or the work they do, their family, their interests, and hear a little bit about their story.
Dave Clement, is owner of Big Lake Cinematic. Living in Parry Sound, Dave has over 20 years of filmmaking, video and photography experience, with in depth knowledge of cinematography, drone aerials, photography, picture editing, writing, lighting, or sound editing. Dave has produced a dramatic feature film, edited tv dramas and feature films, worked as a cinematographer with the best in television journalism and created over a dozen international award-winning short films and documentaries over the years.
What inspired you to get into business?
After working in a large organisation for years I really wanted to return to applying my creative and technical skillset to running my own operation. I like the making connections with people and communities out in the world and I take great pleasure when people get to see the finished work that portrays them in their best light.
How have your priorities changed from when you first started?
When I first started out, I wanted to advance to the top and see if I could hold my own in what I thought was the “big leagues” in the film industry. For years I learned everything I could and engaged in a series of large projects, each one more ambitious than the next. I even went on to produce a feature film with a multi-million-dollar budget which ate up years of my life. Since then, I’ve realized that yep, I can do that, but I just prefer not to. My priority now is staying grounded in community and working to develop our own people and places in Northern Ontario. I want to bring those big-league production values to small town Parry Sound / Muskoka and see what can come out of that.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
I probably would have taken a business accounting course, relaxed a little more and worried a little less. When I look back at early work it was very good, I just didn’t know it. It turns out I didn’t need to push myself quite so hard all those years to become “the best” and I could have spent more time on honing my business skills and living life. I could have taken the time and built that house or sailed that boat. Life is short and the work will get done if you are capable.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
The biggest challenge starting out (many years ago) was convincing fellow business owners that high-quality images and video were becoming essential for business in the modern economy. Fast forward to the era of social media and we now take for granted the need for video and photos to communicate a message or brand. For me, living in Northern Ontario is a lifestyle choice but we Northerners can be our own worst enemies in that many still hold on to this notion that if it doesn’t come from the South, it isn’t very good, that we aren’t very good. It’s an inferiority complex, I guess. So, an early challenge that continues to this day is convincing people that world-class media work can be done by a Northern company. Only until people see it do they believe it.
How do you define success?
Success is knowing you did the best job and you helped people where you could while still having food on the table and a roof over your head. Anything beyond that is bonus.
What is keeping you up at night?
Don’t get me started! In short, the dumbing-down and over-simplification of complex issues and the erosion of people’s understanding of and trust in the scientific process keeps me up at night. A lot of money from nefarious sources has been spent to get us all questioning the wrong things and trusting the wrong mouthpieces.
Do you, and/or, how do you find time to develop your creative process?
Creativity is a flow and the more you use it, the easier it is to keep it going. Get out there and make stuff is my advice. The more you do the more you can do - in that what you’ve done before becomes like a muscle-memory and moves out of the conscious mind. Creative innovation can then flow in on top of those older efforts. You can be present for doing new things because you don’t need to worry about the basics which become automated.
What are some hard choices that you had to make to get where you are?
There isn’t enough room on the page when you are a worker of the arts. It’s not an easy road by any stretch. You’ve got want it and you’ve got to be good at it to survive doing it.
What is one thing people would never guess about you?
I was a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces for a few years as a young lad which taught me a lot about how to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how rough it gets. This sounds like a basic lesson but many never learn it.
What is one thing you wish people knew about you?
That I’ve worked a lot in the North and High-Arctic and I love the people and landscapes that I’ve encountered on my journey. Before filmmaking I was a fluvial geomorphologist and I love rivers too!
Dave has done two fantastic projects with me at Peter Istvan Istvan Photography.
The Professional Headshot Experience
Steve, Kathleen, and Krista, describe what it is like to have a professional headshot experience with Peter Istvan Photography.
My parents have enjoyed staying a the Garden of Parry Sound, a retirement home. Last few years, I have done a complimentary "Resident Photo Shoot" day. This year, Dave, from Big Lake Cinematic, came and captured some of the behind the scenes.
Where to find Dave: